Apricot Cherry Crisp Season

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Apricot Cherry Crisp with Pate Brisée Crust

Apricot Cherry Crisp with Pate Brisée Crust. It’s not quite a pie or even a cobbler exactly. It’s sort of in-between. That’s how it is here too. We’re on the cusp-of-summer in Los Angeles. However, unless you know what to look for, you might not know it. Despite the jokes about Southern California having no weather, there are small, unmistakable events that mark the change in each season: the autumnal shift of evening temperatures, the blazing blue skies of winter, the mist-veiled mornings of May gray. Once you’ve lived here long enough you get to know and predict the shifts that signal the annual equinoxes.

There’s another sign in the shift in our seasons and it’s best observed walking the stalls of our Farmers Markets. As the days lengthen, delicate greens give way to brilliant shades of yellow and red as summer’s fruits replace spring’s veggies. I’m not talking about the dog days of summer which bring us endless hordes of drippingly sweet peaches and rainbows of ripe plums. I’m talking about now. Right now. In Los Angeles you know it’s just past spring (but not quite summer) when apricots and cherries show up at the Hollywood Farmers Market. These early stone fruits are two of my favorites. So, for the next few weeks, I’ll be a bit like a “kid-in-a-candyshop” when faced with huge piles of glistening, ripe red cherries, and barely blushing, lightly freckled apricots.

Apricots and CherriesApricot and Cherry Stack

While cherries always entice it takes very good apricots to excite. Very good apricots can be elusive, capricious and frustrating. They infuriate as often as they delight – leaving many a shopper wondering why anyone would bother with the cotton-mouthed texture of a none-to-sweet apricot. The problem is good apricots are soft-fleshed and don’t travel well. They need to ripen on the tree to fully develop their nectar. They get bruised and mealy if they’re stored too cold and travel too far. What’s more, their season is brief. When they show up in our Farmers Markets you know they’re local. So I grab a bundle and bring them into the kitchen where even the most mediocre specimens can be transformed with heat and a heap of sugar. That’s not something I’d normally suggest for most fruit.

Of course, a sweet partner can have the same effect as loads of sugar. Maybe it’s just because they share the same season, but apricots and cherries are a classic combination. So as we sit at the brink of summer I’ve decided to bring these natural partners together in a crisp that’s on the cusp of a pie. All they need to succeed together is a little sugar for balance and a little flour for thickening. Well that and enough crust to ensure some savory crunch in every bite. GREG

PS About the name Apricot Cherry Crisp. Some might consider this Pate Brisée-topped fruit dish a rather untraditional crisp. However, the sweet and savory combination of fruit and buttery pastry is classically delicious. Besides, I’m tired of crisps that don’t stay crisp.

Apricot Cherry Crisp

Pie Dough SquaresFruit CrispApricot Cherry Crisp Apricot Cherry Crisp

Pate Brisée-Topped Apricot Cherry Crisp

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8-10Published
Apricot Cherry Crisp with Pate Brisée Crust

Ingredients

  • unsalted butter (at room temperature for baking dish)
  • 3 pound ripe apricots
  • 3/4 pound ripe cherries
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ recipe Pate Brisée
  • 2 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Directions

Butter a 2-quart baking dish; set aside.

Slice the apricots into quarters or sixths, depending on size. Discard the pits and place the cut apricots in a large bowl. Remove and discard the pits from the cherries and place them in the bowl with the apricots. Gently toss the fruit with flour and granulated sugar. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out Pate Brisée into a 12-inch round. Cut into four 3-inch strips; then cut the strips into 3 or 4-inch pieces. Place the pieces over the fruit mixture in a random, patchwork pattern. Refrigerate uncovered for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the oven rack in the center position and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

When ready to bake, lightly brush the exposed pastry with water and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place the crisp on a rimmed baking sheet and place it in the heated oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and the juices bubble; about 55 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool before serving.

Traditional Pate Brisee

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 1 pieSource Martha Stewart LivingPublished
Traditional Pate Brisee

Ingredients

  • 300 gram all-purpose flour (about 2 ½ cups) plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sticks chilled unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • ¼-½ cup icecold water

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together in jagged clumps without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.